You had me at Crispy.

This recipe is why I fell in love with canning. I was a veggie virgin when it came to home preserving, only having canned jams and jellies before. I fell hard for these crispy pods packed with flavor that make you pucker up and smile at the same time.

This was a recipe that I first found online years ago and have played with it and made it my own, but there are probably tons of recipes similar or exactly like this already out there.

I add more of certain spices; dill, garlic or pepper flakes to different jars as I go along knowing that certain family and friends who get jars have certain taste preferences… like my parents, who like them heavy on the dill- or my boys who like the garlic kicked up a few notches. This is one of the reasons I LOVE home canning; you need to follow the recipe’s basic vinegar to produce ratios and processing times- but there is so much room for playing with spices and crafting something specifically for someone :-)!

One thing I have learned the hard way year after year is one of the keys to this recipe is NOT boiling the jars to process- but a steady simmer for 10 minutes. If you get them going with a hard boil (like most hot water canning calls for) you’ll end up with tasty dilly beans- but they won’t hold their crispness. And crunching into a crispy green bean in winter that tastes like it was picked yesterday is a big part of why I make these.

The most time consuming part of this recipe is getting all those beans to fit into the jars. I use a combo of tall jelly jars, wide mouth pint jars and big old quart jars, just make sure the boiling water bath is at least 2 inches above the tallest jar when processing and you’re good to go.

Dilly Beans

Ingredients:

2-3 pounds of FRESH green beans 

4 Cups White Vinegar

4 Cups Water

½ Cup Canning Salt

Garlic Cloves: 1 clove (or more) for each jar plus at least one for the brine to boil)

Dill: enough for a few sprigs of leaves and one head in each jar (or more)

Red pepper flakes: Use as desired, a little goes a long way!

Directions:

Sterilize 6 (1/2 pint) jars with rings and lids. Trim green beans to 1/4 inch shorter than your jars. Add 1 clove of garlic, sprig of dill and sprinkle of red pepper flakes to each jar. Pack green beans into the jars as tight as possible standing on their ends. (this is the tedious part)

In a large saucepan, stir together the vinegar, water and salt and one clove of garlic and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Ladle the boiling brine into the jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of the tops. Discard boiled garlic. Seal jars with lids and rings. Place in a hot water bath so they are covered by 1 inch of water. Simmer but do not boil for 10 minutes to process. If using Quart sized of jars, please add 3 minutes to the processing time. Cool to room temperature. Test jars for a good seal by pressing on the center of the lid. It should not move. Refrigerate any jars that do not seal properly, those will last for 2-3 months if kept refrigerated. Let pickles hang out for 2 to 3 weeks before eating to absorb the brine.

Dilly Beans Two Ways: Left = Vinegar/processed/shelf stable Right = Fermented/Sour/Refrigerator

As for my new passion with fermented foods, I am making more of the Fermented version of Dilly beans this summer too. I followed (as much as I ever follow recipes) the Cultures for Health Recipe found HERE . This website has so many awesome looking recipes it will take me a few seasons to make them all, but I love a good challenge!

Here’s an earlier recipe post on Sweet Zucchini Relish,   and one on Fermented pickles  you know just in case you’ve gone crazy like me.

Do you have another favorite pickling recipe? I love to try new things , actually I’m quite addicted to this pickling thing, so spread the word my way for the love of the pickle.

Dig in & Crunch away!

Michelle